hvac contractor Category
If things go wrong with your cooling system, how much air conditioning troubleshooting should you attempt yourself? Where’s the tipping point when it comes to when to call in a qualified professional, instead? The fact is, technology incorporated in today’s central air conditioners is complex and beyond the expertise of the average homeowner. For this reason—as well as valid safety concerns and warranty restrictions, too—the list of DIY air conditioner troubleshooting is necessarily short.
Nevertheless, a few basic steps will at least eliminate obvious issues and narrow down the causes.
Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips Before You Call a Professional
A/C doesn’t start at all. First check the thermostat and make sure the system’s in “Cooling” mode. Also verify that the desired temperature setting is at least 5 degrees below the displayed room temperature. If everything appears correct, look inside the main electrical panel for any tripped circuit breakers. If you notice one, don’t reset it. Call a qualified HVAC contractor and inform them.
System runs but poor cooling performance, low airflow, etc. Inspect the system air filter. Does it appear dusty and dirty? Remove the filter and take it to a home center to buy a replacement. Install the new filter and check the airflow. Also, make sure nothing’s obstructing vents on the outdoor half of the A/C system: fallen leaves or objects someone placed on top of the fan grille can be the problem, as can encroaching weeds or other vegetation that obstructs side air vents. If the problem persists, you need professional help.
Leaking water. If you notice water around the indoor air handler, check the wide condensate drain pan situated underneath. Is standing water inside the pan? Overflow caused by a clogged condensate drain line is likely and will require a qualified HVAC technician to clear the clog. Another possible cause of leakage is ice forming on the evaporator coil inside the air handler. This is usually the result of a very dirty coil or low refrigerant level—both requiring professional service to diagnose and resolve.
If basic air conditioner troubleshooting hasn’t solved your cooling problems, contact a professional at Apollo Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.
You’ve wisely paid attention to recent warnings about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. You make sure that fuel-burning devices such as the furnace and water heater are professionally maintained every year, and you’ve installed a CO detector on each level of the home. You may not realize that regularly testing carbon monoxide detectors is necessary as well if you want to keep everyone in the household safe from this silent killer.
Air filters are an essential part of the HVAC system. Not only do they keep dirt and other harmful contaminants away from HVAC components where they can cause damage, but they also remove those contaminants from the air you breathe.
But what kind of air filter should you use in your home? Which one will most effectively raise your indoor air quality?
Boiler troubleshooting may get the heat flowing in your home again — or not. While correcting some simple operational issues is possible for the skilled do-it-yourselfer, repairs should be left to a qualified service technician for safety’s sake. In that case, troubleshooting common boiler problems is an effective preliminary step to calling in professional help. By checking the most obvious causes yourself, you’ll be able to pass on some useful facts to the technician when he arrives.
It’s a No-Brainer, But …
Any Signs of Life?
If your boiler has a controller and an LCD display screen, check to see that the screen is lit and receiving power. If it’s not, you may have an electrical failure or a defective circuit board in the controller. If the screen is lit, check for any fault codes or error messages that may be displayed. Write them down and pass them on to the HVAC contractor when you call. If the display screen and other indicator lights are dark, go to the electrical panel and look for any tripped circuit breakers. If you find one, reset it and check the boiler again.
Check the Gas and Pilot Light
At the boiler, the main gas valve should be in the “open” position. If it’s not, call your HVAC contractor and inquire why. If work was recently performed, it may have been inadvertently left closed. Verify the reason before you turn on the gas.
If the system incorporates a standing pilot light, see if it’s lit. If not, follow manufacturer’s re-lighting instructions. Frequently, a defective thermocouple will extinguish the pilot and prevent re-lighting. In that case, you’ll need professional help.
Newer boilers utilize electronic hot surface ignitors instead of standing pilot lights. Usually, there’s a conspicuous reset button you can try to revive an electronic ignitor. If you have no luck resetting, your HVAC contractor can handle it.
When basic troubleshooting doesn’t solve common boiler problems and restore heat, contact the pros at Apollo Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
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